The Park Geun-hye Administration's Foreign and Security Policy Challenges
May 1, 2013
All incoming leaders, especially democratic ones, have to transition from a campaign to a governing mode with all of the structural constraints one isn’t faced with during a prolonged election season. Yet the foreign policy tasks that lie ahead for President Park Geun-hye is arguably the most pressing since the advent of the Roh Tae Woo Administration (1988-1993) that had to manage and exploit the dividends arising from the collapse of communism in Central Europe and the former Soviet Union. As South Korea’s and Northeast Asia’s first woman president and the first to gain a majority of voters’ support since the restoration of democracy in 1987, the expectations bar is higher than ever before. From resetting South-North relations, nuanced and forward-looking negotiations with its most important ally, the United States, fostering closer ties with China while containing fallout with Japan and expanding South Korea’s global presence, the foreign policy headwinds facing President Park is virtually without precedence.